Match Report: 2011/2012 Season

10 March 2012: CHAMPIONSHIP
Reading: Leigertwood (15 mins), Roberts (75 mins), Church (89 mins).
Leicester: Danns (90).
Half Time: 1-0.

Attendance: 21,858

Pos Team P Pts GD
2 West Ham 35 66 +21
3 READING 35 66 +18
4 Middlesbrough 34 59 +8
Reading: A Federici, I Harte, K Gorkss, A Pearce, S Cummings, J McAnuff, M Leigertwood, J Karacan, H Robson-Kanu, N Hunt, J Roberts (S Church, 84).
Subs not used: M Andersen, T Cywka, J Tabb, A Le Fondre.
Leicester: K Schmeichel, W Morgan, T Kennedy (S Howard, 46), S St. Ledger, L Peltier, L Dyer, N Danns, R Wellens, D Drinkwater (P Gallagher, 73), D Nugent, J Beckford (S Bamba, 46).
Subs not used: J Schlupp, B Marshall .
Reading: Leigertwood.
Leicester: Howard.
Ref: Robert Madley.
The was good crowd today, drawn by the sunshine and the Royals recent good form. They were not disappointed as Reading extended their winning run to eight games with three well taken goals. The winning margin might not reflect the balance of play but certainly underlined the difference in the quality of finishing of the teams. Reading now find themselves level with West Ham on points and only three behind leaders Southampton with a game in hand. The winning sequence must come to an end soon, but the Royals are now firmly established as serious contenders for automatic promotion.

An early goal looked on the cards as the Royals pressed City back into their own half. A save and two headed goal line clearances in quick succession got the home crowd going before Reading took the lead after fifteen minutes. McAnuff received a pass out wide on the right and opted to lay the ball back to Leigertwood on the edge of the box. The ball sat up invitingly and Leigertwood hammered the ball past Schmichael into the top corner. There will not be many better goals scored in the Championship this season. Hunt having won the ball so consistently in the air on Tuesday night was prevented from repeating his performance due to continuous and subtle pushes and shoves which were not picked up by the referee. There was an atrocious challenge on Karacan which was deserving of at least a yellow but resulted only in a verbal caution. (Later Leigertwood was booked for a similar challenge.) Defensively Reading were so organised and determined City were forced on a couple of occasions to retreat and pass the ball back as far as Schmichael to retain possession. Just before half time McAnuff won a free kick on the edge of the box and the home fans eagerly anticpated another strike from Harte but on this occasion his effort was blocked.

Frustrated by his team's inability to pass their way through the Reading defence he brouht on Howard and Bamba to try to unsettled the baclk four with more direct approach. Howard certainly was over physical in his efforts to do so and received a yellow card for his trouble. Gorkss and Pearce stood up to the test well in spite of Howard leading with his arms and elbows everytime he went for a ball in the air. City pressed hard for an equlaliser but when chances did come their finishing was woeful. It did also leave them vulnerable on the break. Roberts played a poor ball when it a break looked likely early in the half. He came closer when he raced clear of the defence and was brought down from behind with only the 'keeper to beat. It looked like a penalty, certainly a free kick and a srtaight red card, but referee Madley instantly waved play on. Two awful challenges followed and nothing was given as Madley completey lost the plot. The turning point came on seventy-five minutes when Roberts continued his fine strike rate sliding in a good low cross from Hunt. Although City stuck to their task well they could could not find the finish they needed. Church came on in the closing stages, to freshen up the attack and keep the City back four busy, and added a third. He took up a good postion at the far post and timed his run well to nod home a deep cross. Hunt was again the provider. Much to Fedrici's irritation Danns scored a consolation goal in added time to prevent what would have been a seventh clean sheet in eight games.

John Wells

This is getting silly.... another fantastic result against a good Leicester side on we roll and now it's a real test, three away games starting with a tough game at Doncaster on Tuesday. But we should fear nobody as long as the defence continues like the fortress it is. Bigbum Leigertwood scored a fantastic goal to open the score wand had a great game as did Hunty up front a real belter of a game, only gripe was Robinson-Canoe who was poor and should make way for Kebe as soon as he's fit, hopefully Tuesday. I'll be there to cheer the boys on, and fingers crossed we get a result, keep pinching yourself.... UURRRZZ

Decent three points? That was the most complete performance of the season so far and pulled off against a very talented Leicester side who should be seriously higher than their position. Yes they had loads of possession, yes they pretty much dominated territory, but there is no doubt the McDermott would have allowed that and set ourselves up to counteract that. Leciester played very well in the first half hour of the second half but apart from the Lloyd Dyer close shave they couldn't find a way past us and the second goal knocked the stuffing out of them. Today's performance was the first time I've come away thinking we actually look the real deal in the top three, instead of the great pretenders.

I thought we got better as the game went on. Leicester had a great spell in the first 20 mins of the 2nd half but their heads soon started to drop & the 2nd goal then killed them. Danns looked quality though. They certainly didn't play badly - we are just utterly ruthless at the moment. Karacan was absolutely brilliant today I thought. Am I right in thinking 2 assists from Hunt & 1 goal from Roberts. That partnership is looking pretty damn awesome right now although nice for Church to come on and get one. Just think what we could do when Kebe comes back! Onto to 3 tough away games now - get 6 points or more from those & we'll be set up lovely for the run in.

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Reading made it eight successive league wins to go level with West Ham and boost their automatic promotion hopes. Mikele Leigertwood sent the Royals on their way with a stunning opener. Leicester improved after half-time but they wasted a series of chances before Reading extended their advantage with a close-range Jason Roberts strike. Simon Church added a third with a well-directed header and although Neil Danns pulled a goal back for Leicester in injury time they finished well beaten. The victory - watched by a near-22,000 crowd - saw Reading climb level with West Ham, who are only narrowly ahead of the Royals on goal difference. Reading manager Brian McDermott will have high hopes that his side can maintain their promotion challenge and return to the top-flight after a three-season absence. They started brightly and Foxes keeper Kasper Schmeichel saved from Noel Hunt before Wes Morgan cleared off the line from Hal Robson-Kanu.

Leicester fell behind on the quarter-hour mark when Leigertwood fired the Royals in front with a powerful shot which flew into the top right-hand corner of the net. Use accessible player and disable flyout menus The visitors improved after the break when Lloyd Dyer crossed to Danny Drinkwater on the edge of the penalty area, but Drinkwater could not direct his effort on target before David Nugent shot wide after cutting in from the left. Nugent then headed a Drinkwater corner wide as the Foxes continued to put pressure on Reading. Reading always looked dangerous on the counter attack and shortly after having appeals for a penalty turned down when Roberts went down in the box, they added a second on 75 minutes. Hunt charged down the right and picked out Roberts in the box who finished clinically from six yards. And Hunt was again the provider with a minute left, finding substitute Church to nod home and, although Danns took some of the gloss off the performance with a consolation for Leicester, Reading's promotion push remains firmly on course.

BBC Sport